Top Salesforce Blogs

I spend lot of time checking salesforce blogs to benefit from the research and experiences published by all the great experts out there in our community. Below are the most influential bloggers in the Salesforce ecosystem (sorted by alphabetic order).

My Favourites

Download My Reading List

You can import all the blogs I’m following in your favourite news reader providing it supports OMPL files (if not, try Feedly or Inoreader). This list includes my top blogs, of course, but way more than that… I hope you’ll enjoy reading this awesome content from the community.

Other Lists

Francis Pindar wrote a list of influencers’ blogs focused on Salesforce MVP. Check his post on Cloud Architecture. Ben McCarthy has got a great post too on the Ultimate Salesforce Blogs.

Others are trying to be more comprehensive. For instance, Johan Yu posted his own list on simplysfdc.com. But the “crème de la crème” of all Salesforce blogrolls is maintained by Oliver Hansen and is called… salesforceblogs.com!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Summer ’15

As I now do for every new Salesforce release, I’m compiling in this one-stop-shopping article the most useful resources available online related to Salesforce Summer ’15 release. This post will help you to master the new release capabilities.

Summer '15 logo

Blogs
🔎 Here are the best posts summarising the new features or highlighting the most important ones, all consolidated for you.

Videos
📺 After reading these posts, a good next step would be to watch Salesforce videos on YouTube. They’re a great way to get a feel for the release.

I always watch the Developer Webinar and suggest you give it a go too. This webinar not only mentions but demos some of the most important new features.

Salesforce Resources
📘 I find the Release Preview to be a very helpful summary of the new release. It could help you to quickly identify hidden gems. In a similar style, there’s the post Release Admin Quick Wins Guide on the Salesforce blog. It focuses on 7 of the new features.

There’s also the Developer Resources page which technical content is focused on the platform features, by opposition to any of the Salesforce’s Clouds.

Release Notes
🍄 The must-read document to identify and understand the new features is the Release Notes. It’s available as a PDF document or HTML page. You can pick whichever format works the best for you since the content is strictly identical in both versions.

Exam
🚀 The post Milestones of the Release Cycle provides general information on the timeline for the switch from one release to the new one.

The maintenance exam is available for approximately 2 releases after launch. Don’t be late or you will have to retake all of your certifications that are covered by the maintenance! You can read my post Preparing Your Salesforce Release Maintenance Exam and check how it works.

  • Date available: June 29, 2015
  • Completion deadline: February 26, 2016

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Taking Trust To The Next Level

Salesforce recently released a new version of their Trust site. Although at first sight it looks more like a revamp than anything else, a little dig around will reveal a new feature: performance metrics.

Salesforce Trust Performance dashboard

One often overlooked side of Trust is that Salesforce could have restricted access to their customers like other cloud vendors do. But, in pure Salesforce style, the company chose to stand-out from the crowd and made this data publicly available… Transparency can only be the sign of a confident industry leader and Salesforce always confirms its leadership.

Taking a closer look shows little surprise that performances are best at weekends due to a smaller amount of transactions. Note that the timeline is inverted and the past is shown on the right side of the graph.

Once again Salesforce opens-up to even more transparency and that’s good news for all of the ecosystem.

Besides checking your instance availability it is now possible to plan better ways to work with an org! For instance, looking at the delta in performance between weekdays and weekend (249ms/171ms), Salesforce is 45% faster at the weekend than during the week. You won’t notice the difference as a user but if you’re planning to deal with a large volume of data you will! So, next time you migrate a lot of data and attachments consider a weekend job, especially if your customer needs a fast switch-over.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Posted in Buy

Mastering Spring ’15

This post is meant to be a one-stop-shop for everything “Spring ’15”. I’m listing interesting blog posts, as well as valuable resources which will help you to master the new release. You can also check my first post on maintenance exams and get organised…

Spring '15 Logo

Blogs
🔎 As for every release, there are quite a few posts summarising what to expect and highlighting the most important new features. Below is a list of the best content consolidated for your convenience.

Videos
📺 After reading these posts, a good next step would be to watch Salesforce videos on YouTube. They’re a great way to get a feel for the release.

Salesforce Resources
📘 I find the Release Preview to be a very helpful summary of the new release. It could help you to quickly identify hidden gems.
There’s also a list of online courses that you should definitively try:

There’s also the Developer Resources page which technical content is focused on the platform features, by opposition to any of the Salesforce’s Clouds.

Release Notes
🍄 The must-read document to identify and understand the new features is the Release Notes. It’s available as a PDF document or HTML page. You can pick whichever format works the best for you since the content is strictly identical in both versions.

Exam
🚀 The exam is available for approximately 2 releases after launch. Don’t be late or you will have to retake all of your certifications that are covered by the maintenance! You can check my post Preparing Your Salesforce Release Maintenance Exam and validate how it works.

  • Date available: March 2, 2015
  • Completion deadline: October 30, 2015

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Mastering Winter ’15

This post is meant to be a one-stop-shop for everything “Winter ’15”. I’m listing interesting blog posts, as well as valuable resources which will help you not only to pass your certification maintenance exam but to master the new release. You can also check my first post on maintenance exams and get organised…

Salesforce Winter '15 Logo

Blogs
🔎 Go ahead and enjoy reading these great posts I selected for you. They dissect the new release from a different angle.

Videos
📺 I recommend that you then watch the videos Salesforce posts on YouTube. They are well put together and are an easy way to get a feel for the new release.

Salesforce Resources
📘 I really like the training modules that take you through the new features and ask some quizz from time to time. You’ve got to try them!

Next, I suggest you have a look at the developers resources which are not necessarily reserved to nerds, as you may think, but tackle the foundation layers of the platform. For instance, you’ll find there everything which has to do with business logic such as Visual Flow improvements.

Release Notes
🍄 Okay, at some point you need to open the big book (352 pages). They are available in PDF and HTML forms. Pick the format which is the most convenient to you, the content is strictly identical.

Exam
🚀 The exam is available for approximatively 2 releases after launch. Don’t be late or you will have to retake all of your certifications that are covered by the maintenance! You can check my post Preparing Your Salesforce Release Maintenance Exam and validate how it works.

  • Date available: November 3, 2014
  • Completion deadline: June 26, 2015

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Preparing Your Maintenance Exam

A few weeks after the roll-out of a new release, Salesforce publishes the new certification maintenance exams aimed at testing that Salesforce professionals knowledge stays up-to-date. This is an important part of the certification program as it participates in giving the credential its value.
However, it’s not as involving as a certification exam. It’s non proctored, meaning that you access whichever online resource you need. The timing is not challenging. And you can now try as many times as you need until you pass.

##Exams Schedule

📅 We used to have only two maintenance exams (a “red” or a “blue“, respectively “admin” or “dev“) but things are getting a bit more complicated now as new certifications are added. And of course, this is not going stop as Salesforce acquires new companies and give birth to home-brewed innovations.

Red & blue logos

Now, some certifications have three exams a year, some others only one. To know which one is which please refer to the list of maintenance requirements per certification.

Maintenance exams have a validity period of about 8 months during which two other exams are released. If you miss the deadline you are losing all associated certifications.

I strongly recommend that you refresh your certifications as soon as the maintenance exam is available.

  • If you wait and attend a certification two releases behind, you will expose yourself to questions which answers are not true anymore with the current release.
  • Just don’t play with this sort of deadlines. I know a guy who’s waited to the last minute, then had a personal emergency and couldn’t pass his maintenance in time. He then had to go through all the certification process from scratch and is still fuming about it. Don’t be that guy!

Check the certification deadlines on Salesforce release exams schedule.

##Training Plan

As mentioned above, each maintenance exam is rather easy to pass compared to its equivalent certification exam. But, you need to use the opportunity given to be tested and validate your knowledge. I understand that Salesforce professionals need their certifications to work but they also need to know Salesforce…

I’m recommending the following approach to learn and remember the new features while preparing yourself for the maintenance exam:

  1. 📺 Watch some videos on YouTube
  2. 🐻 Get your Trailhead badge
  3. 🌍 Browse the best blogs
  4. 📘 Read Salesforce’s resources
  5. 🍄 Learn the Release Notes
  6. ☁️ Play around with your DE org
  7. 🚀 Take the exam

And I’m going into more details in my release specific posts.

##Suggestions For The Exam

  1. Use a second monitor:
    With WebAssessor on your main screen and (1) the Release Notes HTML version plus (2) a DE org already authenticated and (3) a Google search page on the second screen, you should be able to go through the maintenance exam thanks to your fresh knowledge plus the help of resources on the second screen if necessary.
  2. If you can’t start the exam:
    Just jump on the excellent Webassessor help page. It’s mainly geared toward proctored exams but should also be useful if you can’t start the exam…
  3. In case you fail:
    Nowadays, you’re allowed as many attempts as you need to pass your maintenance exam. Having said that if you fail the exam after all the hard preparation work and with access to online resource you need to pause and think. It can mean that something’s wrong with your preparation or that the Q&A were phrased in a complex way. Have a second attempt and capture screenshots of all the questions with your answers. Then, if you fail a second time, research all questions and validate your understanding in your favourite DE org.

##Related Resources

I hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t hesitate to ping me on Twitter if you have any comment or question.

Fab 🐸

Top Cloud Computing Blogs

Blogger in action

I am sometimes asked what are my favourites cloud computing blogs. It’s difficult to say really since there is so many interesting stuff out there. Typically, these blogs are written by passionate advocates like me. Below are the most famous and influential bloggers in the cloud computing space as of November 2009.

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